Apple Vision Pro’s first beta is here — with two major improvements

Apple Vision Pro Zoom app
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Vision Pro’s Persona feature is very intriguing, since it offers a more traditional video calling experience while you’re wearing the headset. But we’d be lying if we didn’t say it’s creepy and needs a bunch of work. Thankfully, it looks like the latest visionOS beta will offer some improvements. 

Now, after installing the visionOS 1.1 beta, users are prompted to recapture their Persona. That way they get the “latest appearance updates," which appear to be a little more lifelike and detailed than they were before.

Officially Persona is a beta feature. Tom’s Guide Global Editor in Chief Mark Spoonauer set up a Persona of his own and found that the feature was lacking. Even though Apple gives users the chance to alter their digital avatar, Mark noted that users will likely “be displeased” with the results.

Other members of the Tom’s Guide team weren’t so impressed either, referring to the digital avatar as “a CG character from The Polar Express”, as well as either “a futuristic ghost or maybe you were calling from heaven”. 

Needless to say, if Apple wants the Persona feature to have any staying power, it’s going to need to make it a lot less creepy. Though that’s easier said than done, and may be a slow, ongoing process. We will be testing the new Persona today and will keep you updated. 

Other features in vision OS 1.1 beta

Persona changes aren’t the only new things coming as part of the visionOS 1.1 beta. The biggest change is that the beta supports the option to reset a Vision Pro on the device itself. An option that we’re surprised wasn’t available on the Vision Pro headset on release day.

Previously, the password reset process sounded pretty hellish, and users would actually have to send the headset back to Apple in the event they forgot their password. To say that’s not ideal would be a serious understatement.

The update also allows for Apple Device management, allowing IT departments and schools to manage the headsets the same way they would iPhones, iPads and Macs. Users are also able to reposition volumetric scenes, so they’re closer than before.

There may be more updates hiding in the beta that we don’t know about yet, but considering the Vision Pro has only been available for 5 days I’d say this is a very good start. Stay tuned for our full impressions of the visionOS beta. 

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.